Monday, February 25, 2008

Filter malfunction evident

I was in Home Depot yesterday trying to buy a vacuum cleaner. I was talking to the sales guy when a woman with two small kids walked up and joined the conversation. She and I had the same basic needs. Something that works but does not cost $500. Also something small and extra suction-y would be nice.

The sales guy was showing us a Hoover and a Bissell and explaining the differences between the two. One vacuum cleaner cost $99 and required bags. The other cost $169 and required no bags. Both the woman and I selected the $169 version and we were pushing the boxes onto our carts when the woman's husband joined the vacuum cleaner circle. The conversation about the bagless vacuum cleaner versus the bagged vacuum cleaner was repeated. The husband was not pleased with his wife's decision.

"What the hell are you doing? That one cost $70 more. Just get the one that needs bags," he said.

"No," said the wife.

"No?? What the fuck! We can't just throw money away!" he said. Let me just say that from the size of the diamonds in this woman's ears and the drape of the cashmere overcoat this fucker was wearing, $70 was most assuredly not an issue at their house.

"I do not want a bagged vacuum cleaner," the wife calmly replied. Her children were playing with drill bits on the floor next to her.

"Well maybe we just won't get you one then. How would you like that?" He folded his arms across his chest for extra manly emphasis.

Here is the part where Nina loses her mind. Perhaps it was the part where he used the pronoun "you" in reference to her vacuum cleaner, as if it was some sort of special treat for her to own a cleaning implement. I did a quick calculation as to how rude it would be for me to intervene and get into their business. Result: 10. I made another calculation as to how much I disliked the droid this perfectly nice woman as married to. Result: 10. I calculated again whether I cared if I got into a screaming fight with a stranger at Home Depot. Result: 1.232. And then my filter malfunctioned.

I looked at the man.

He looked at me.

"She will be the one using the vacuum cleaner and she will be the one who has to run all over town with two small children with the serial number for the bags written on the back of an envelope. She won't be able to find the bags. If she can find them, she'll have to buy fifty and then find a place to store them in your too small apartment. Then she'll be out of bags and there will be people coming over for cocktails in half an hour and there will be no bags and the floors will be filthy and she will be mortified. Another $70 for bagless is a bargain."

"Who the fuck..."

"SEEE?" interjected the wife. "SEE? She gets me!"

The man unfolded his arms and puffed up his chest, real big-like.

"Who the fuck asked you?"

"Just saying," I said. "You will not be the one who has to manage all the problems caused by this bagged vacuum cleaner. She will. Therefore, it's her decision."

"It's none of your goddamned business!" he said.

The wife interjected, "Don't you yell at her! She gets it! You don't get it!"

"Well both of you can shut up," he said.

"She's RIGHT, asshole!" said the wife.

"Look," I said. "Obviously I should not interfere but as you said, this vacuum cleaner will be hers, so. Shouldn't she be the one to choose it?"

The husband's face turned purple. The sales guy stood there, gob-jawed, watching the husband and wife hurl insults at each other until finally, the woman won and got her vacuum cleaner. Before they turned and stomped off to enjoy the rest of their happy marriage, the woman turned to me and said, "Thank you. Clearly, I married a complete prick."

All of this in front of their two children in a public warehouse store.

Yeah, so, anyway. I have never done anything like that before in my life and I am still a lot freaked out that I did. But I was in just the right foul mood and just the right vacuum cleaner moment and that guy was, as his wife so said, a complete prick. And the filter that lives up there in my teeth malfunctioned and you see the results. I am insane.

Thank you for reading. And have a good Monday.


Oracle said...

I've Gotta tell you, you just made my Monday thank you so much ;)

Ive got a Dyson and would never go back ;)

Have a good Week

Em said...

Wow. I'm impressed, Nina. That same conversation takes place in Home Depots all across America. You should make the rounds.

clickmom said...

De-lurking (have I commented here before?) to tell you how much I love you and your malfunctioning filter right now. There is a need for people like you out there. Any time you want to follow me and my own personal prick around I'll just send a car for you.
thrilled to be bagless in NJ

The Horny Bitch said...

Wow. Admire your courage to tell the guy off.

I wonder how he react if his wife told him "then you vacumn your own floor then".
Have a good monday!!

Rick said...

He lives within a one-hundred mile radius of NYC and he expects people to mind their business? The guy's an asshole and delusional. There isn't enough room in New York City OR New Jersey for people to have personal business (we make fun of you NJ, I still love you, though. Like an easily picked-on, less popular kid sibling).

OH and I finally did the band meme! Check it out.

Julie said...



My filter has malfunctioned a couple of times, and the end result was NOT as good as yours. Good job.

PS...I have a Dyson too.

Jennifer said...

If you are insane, than I am too.

I am glad you told that asshole off.



LAS said...

I love you Nina, you rock! I've been wanting a new vaccuum myself. Bagless, yes, of course. I really want a Dyson, but I haven't convinced myself that I need one yet. I've just heard that amazing things come out of your carpet with one, and you know, this excites me because that's how lame my life is. Anyway, happy Monday!

Anonymous said...

Applause. :)

And the singletons are validated once again!

Anonymous said...

We will never have to be on the receiving end of that bullshit. Woot!

Avitable said...

That was absolutely fantastic!

Finn said...

Marry me. Marry me right now.

Woodrow said...

What about the cost of the bags? That would have been my approach.

It feels good to confront wrongness.

The anonymous nature of city life makes it a breeding ground for rudeness.

Maggie said...

Woodrow, I was thinking the same thing about the cost of the bags over the life of the machine. But then again, that would have been RATIONAL, which this guy clearly was not anyway, so might as well give him a schooling on his attitude.
Nina, just another reason why I love you so much, and you are just so beautiful.

Glad your Dark and Stormy week is over. Wish we were sipping Dark and Stormys right now...

Anonymous said...

I am glad I am not the only one with filter problems. I totally would have done the same thing. Hee.

Anonymous said...

Awesome... I do stuff like that all the time. I figure if people are going to act like that in public, the public has the right to intervene.

ByJane said...

you are my sunshine, ninacita--fuck all filters forever.

nightfly said...

Bagless generally costs less in the long run, as well as being easier to empty out. The filters do need changing from time to time, but not as often as a bag, as I recall.

BTW, you truly rock.

Ki said...


A drink to you.

You might have been the only mature and sensible person there at the time-- the kids were probably both too young.

Nina said...

Oracle, thanks! I wish I could make myself spend the money on a Dyson. I just can't.

Em, the next time I do that I might get punched in the face. You just never know with people.

Clickmom, glad you won the argument and are happily bagless. :-)

HB, HI!!! So nice to see you. Yeah, I wondered if she would say something like that. However, she seemed to be a mousy little thing without much spirit. Until I stepped in and involved myself in their marriage. Heh.

Rick, I never thought of it that way.. but true. Privacy is the ultimate luxury here. And I will totally go check out your band meme!

Julie, why do you get a Dyson and I don't? WAAAA.

Jennifer, I am a little embarrassed that I did that, but oh well. I did. That's that.

LAS, let's save up and buy Dyson's together. Everyone seems to think we need them, after all.

Jen, NO KIDDING. I would not be good at being married to a man like that one. Not at all.

Avitable, yeah, but seriously, how RUDE am I? Wow.

Finn, Ok. I am single. I am "ready." Sort of.

Woodrow, I was feeling a little bit fiery and snappy so I wasn't thinking straight. You are correct, of course. Why are you always right like that?

Maggie, how's this for dark and stormy: the vacuum cleaner I bought completely sucks and I am returning it just as soon as I have four hours to argue with Home Depot about why it sucks. Ugh. Groan. OUCH it hurts.

Mal, really? That is the first time I have ever done that and I can't decide how to feel about it. Has anyone ever smacked you over a filter malfunction?

e!, I am so excited. This might be, like, the second time in six months we've actually agreed on something. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, late of course. I didn't know until Em told me.

Jane, why thank you. Glad you weren't disgusted with my rudeness. It was fun rudeness, but it was rudeness, nonetheless.

Nightfly, yes, the rational argument would have been that the bagless saves money. But I was being crazy at the time. :-)

Dan said...

Wow. Remind me not to have an augment with you over vacuum cleaners.

I wish i had the guts to say stuff like that.

Marlee said...

OMG, you are AWESOME!

Sandy said...

Do you give lessons?

Tense Teacher said...

That made my day. You done good.

utenzi said...

Sounds more like an internal fantasy dialog than reality, Nina.

Bloggle said...

Am I the only one appreciating the irony of you describing your unfortunately crappy vacuum cleaner as something that 'sucks'?

I found your blog while I was supposed to be working a while ago, and thought I would join in the party with a 'Yee hah!' on your capacity to join in. I have in the past intervened in a discussion about homeschooling on the bus, shared my thoughts on inefficient parenting with a woman whose son was annoying me, and joined in in defence of a dreadlocked hippy in a row with his girlfriend over the relative merits of free-range eggs (needless to say, me and the hairy one won and happy chickens are running free thanks to our actions).

And now I am joining in here, lending my support to the concept of 'joining in' which feels like the moment all my other interfering has been leading to - the circle is complete...

LAS said...

Hey Nina, sorry your vaccuum sucks. I say we go Dyson like you said. I will if you will! Do you know how many times I've been checking google reader per day to see if you posted? You don't want to know! You are awesome. Come on now, post another good story or another song by Cat-head. I need something to get me through this boring day.

LizB said...

I love you without your filter.

Amy said...

I...I...I think I love you.

That is all.

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

I think sometimes we feel most insane when we are the only sane person in the room.

At least that's what I tell myself.